When I first walked by the 2501 Migrants outside of Oaxaca’s Santo Domingo church, I figured they were a permanent fixture from one of the nearby shops. They’re a curious collection of lumpy, abstract little beings. Then I discovered that this was a temporary art exhibit, a clever way to make a statement and cast light on an economic reality in Mexico.
2501 Migrants is an outdoor statue exhibit executed by Mexican artist Alejandro Santiago Ramirez. The statues are intended to represent the 2500 people (plus 1, himself) who left his little village of San Pedro Teococuilco near Oaxaca for the United States and other areas in Mexico in pursuit of economic opportunity. When it occurred to Ramirez that over half his village had migrated, he decided to “repopulate” the village with these statues. Each one has a different face, a different expression.
An interesting exhibit on its face, even more when you consider what it all means.